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Kimberly Matheson & Mindi D. Foster

In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology

Chapter 20: Coping with the Stress of Gender Discrimination

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Coping with the Stress of Gender Discrimination
Coping with the Stress of Gender Discrimination
Kimberly MathesonMindi D. Foster
Introduction

When women encounter discrimination they might express any number of reactions:

  • ‘What discrimination? I don’t think it was meant that way.’

  • ‘You have to have a sense of humor, and not get uptight about things.’

  • ‘Sometimes you have to ignore it, or people start thinking that you’re just anangry feminist.’

  • ‘It makes me so angry … I just have to do something about it so that itcan’t keep happening to women.’

While vastly different, each of these reactions could potentially represent an adaptive strategyfor contending with gender discrimination. Even as individuals derive psychological and socialbenefits from their group memberships (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Tajfel & Turner,1979), when such groups are socially disadvantaged, the ...

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